Campaign marketing is no easy task. You need brand-building ads to reach virtually everyone as often as possible. But you also need to deliver more specific messages to specific groups of voters. The ability to accurately target ad placement means you can get more for your money or stretch your advertising dollars further.
However, with Google, Twitter and others no longer allowing targeted political ads, you need an effective alternative. Out-of-home has become the channel of choice for all types of campaigns, including localized races with smaller budgets. It is the real alternative for reaching voters in the real world.
You're looking for voters, but you also need money. And volunteers.
OOH allows you to carefully target ad content and placement using detailed criteria. Whoever you want to reach, where and when, OOH is there for you.
Can't-miss, can't-ignore and interactive, too
Mailers are usually considered a campaign staple. But they're easy to toss out without a glance so relying on them is iffy (not to mention costly) – especially since your recipients' mailboxes are probably stuffed tight with direct mail from every other candidate and issue. And canvassing handouts? Who loves having some stranger thrust unwanted literature at them?
Out-of-home tells your story in better ways, reaching volumes of people without wasting volunteer time and irritating the very voters you want to attract.
OOH is a location-targeter's dream
Geofencing allows you to target voters by location as well as demographics. You can draw a virtual perimeter around your desired advertising area:
- Single building
- City block or neighborhood
- ZIP code
- The whole county
- The very irregular pattern made by the routes your target voters most frequently use when they're driving to work or the store or the airport
With your geofence in place, you can select static and/or digital OOH media within those parameters, knowing your audience will see them.
In addition, when someone enters your zone, if their smartphone or other device is connected to the internet the geofencing technology can detect their presence and direct the most relevant one of your digital OOH (DOOH) ads.
The technology delivers back to you valuable data you can use to improve the placement and performance of your ads as well as re-target voters.
On the road, with mobile OOH
Mobile advertising allows you to take your message to the people, wherever they are. A truck or trailer carrying the same ad as your billboard can drive the highways, downtown streets or neighborhoods. Trucks can be outfitted for digital displays as well.
They can park for longer visibility — on a heavily-traveled street or near the entrance to your rally or a public event, for example. Or near the location of your opposition's event.
They can show passers-by a QR code or link to your website, inviting immediate connection and further engagement.
Thanks to GPS, you can chart your mobile truck's route and track its progress. Digitally-equipped trucks use beacon technology to detect internet-connected cell phones within a certain radius, again allowing data gathering and re-targeting as well as measuring overall impressions.
Buses and taxis that travel within your geofenced area can carry your message as a static poster, digital display or all-around wrap.
Direct mail only goes home, OOH goes everywhere else
However you want to reach out to voters with your campaign marketing, OOH has the right medium for your message. We speak of OOH as if it is a single marketing channel, but it is really a plethora of inventory options that you can choose and combine to achieve any promotional goal.
- Billboards — already well-known to political advertisers, but you can go digital or even 3D
- Smaller billboards mounted on interior or exterior walls or free-standing on the sidewalk
- Wild postings situated along temporary construction walls or other long expanses
- Street furniture (benches, kiosks, bus shelters, etc.)
- Public transit vehicles and stations
- Truck-mounted signage and wrapped vehicles
- Place-based media (digital screens seen everywhere from sports stadiums and conference centers to beauty salons, fitness centers, retail stores, bars, restaurants, malls, gas stations, lobbies and waiting areas).
You can also surprise and delight voters in unexpected ways as they go about their lives in the real world. Pizza boxes, for instance, adorned with a catchy phrase and invitation to connect with your candidate. (That made you smile, didn't it? It will do the same for your target audience. Likeability is key to candidate success.)
OOH is a hands-down winner
It offers exceptional reach and frequency and allows for highly targeted content and placement. No one can throw it away, turn it off, skip over it or delete it. It's not only affordable, it's cost-effective.
That's not to say you shouldn't retain other traditional electioneering channels both offline and digital. And, yes, phone calls. You want to impress voters through every means possible. It's just that OOH gives you more means, affordably.
Have an upcoming political campaign that you are looking to enhance with OOH? Download Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of our new political playbook series to help keep you ahead of your competition.